“Get off your knees” – the Rosemary Feurer lecture 2014

At the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2014 an important paper was delivered Professor Rosemary Feurer of Northern Illinois University.  Prof. Feurer, who had also spoken at the inaugural festival in Cork in 2012, examined the parallel activities of Mother Jones and the great Irish socialist leaders James Connolly and “Big Jim” Larkin, in particular looking at the similar paths they followed, both geographical and philosophical and conclusions they reached.

You can download the full text of Prof. Feurer’s lecture by clicking on the link below:-

Get Off Your Knees Feurer

 

 

Rosemary Feurer

Rosemary Feurer in Cork, August 2014 with the banner of Women Against Pit Closures from the UK Miner’s Strike 1984

Rosemary Feurer is Professor of History at Northern Illinois University.  She co-directed “Mother Jones, America’s Most Dangerous Woman”.  Author, she writes extensively on labour history.  Rosemary is Administrator of www.motherjonesmuseum.org website and Mother Jones Lives.  She attended the inaugural Spirit of Mother Jones Festival in Cork in 2012 and delivered the above lecture at the same festival on August 1st, 2014.   You can download the full lecture by clicking on the link below:

 

Gatherings held to honour Mother Jones

Mother Jones' burial site at the Union Miner's Cemetery, Mount Ollive, Illinois, where she lies beside the victims of the Virden Massacre.

Mother Jones’ burial site at the Union Miner’s Cemetery, Mount Ollive, Illinois, where she lies beside the victims of the Virden Massacre.

On Sunday 5th October 2014 at mid day a gathering took place at the grave of Mother Jones at the Union Miners Cemetery at Mount Olive, Illinois. After some speeches and some songs from labour singer Len Wallace, the participants raised a toast in honour of Mother Jones. Irish Whiskey from Co Cork in the form of Jameson’s Redbreast was used and there followed a rousing rendition of “Solidarity Forever” after which many of the participants returned for the annual Mother Jones Foundation dinner at Springfield, Illinois later on Sunday night.

Attended by over 200 people, this annual dinner also heard a special message of greetings from the Cork Mother Jones committee.
According to Terry Reed, one of the event organisers;
“We hope this is the beginning of many more exchanges between our two groups as we are united in telling the world of the great lessons this grand champion of the working class spoke, took action and lived”
Terry also promised a film message from the Mother Jones Foundation for the 2015 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival.
State of Illinois Senator Andy Manar attended the Mother Jones gathering at Mount Olive on Sunday 5th October. He announced at the event that the State of Illinois had approved a grant for $41,000 towards the restoration of the grave site and monument of Mother Jones at Mount Olive. Senator Manar had also sent a wonderful message of solidarity to the Spirit of Mother Jones festival earlier this year (click link to view) 
 
Already some $70,000 has been raised through the efforts of the trade union movement and the Illinois AFL-CIO thus ensuring that the full restoration of the grave site becomes a reality.

Cork Indie festival to show new Mother Jones film

As part of the Cork Indie Festival, On Sunday 19th October, the new documentary by Frameworks Films “Mother Jones and Her Children” will be shown at the Gate Cinema, North Main Street, Cork starting at 12 noon. Congratulations to director Emma Bowell and Eddie Noonan of Frameworks Films on this truely amazing account of the extraordinary life of Mary Harris/Mother Jones. All Mother Jones supporters are very welcome.
Indie Cork is a fMotherJonesA3PosterLowRes-Copyestival of independent film and music which runs in a number of venues in Cork city from 12th to 19th October 2014.   The festival champions independent film productions from Cork, from Ireland and from around the world.
For more information on the festival and the film “Mother Jones and her Children” visit www.indiecork.com or www.frameworkfilms.com

 

Anne Scargill & Betty Cook sing The Women’s Song

A number of people have asked if any video footage was available of Anne Scargill and Betty Cook of Women Against Pit Closures singing their anthem from the Miners Strike era – “The Women’s Song”.  The song was written by Mal Finch.  Our thanks to Frameworks Films for the video.  By popular demand here it is – performed during their session at the Firkin Crane on July 31st.

 

 

Anne Scargill and Betty Cook, Women Against Pit Closures at the Firkin Crane with Yorkshire Mother Jones banner.

Anne Scargill and Betty Cook, Women Against Pit Closures at the Firkin Crane with Yorkshire Mother Jones banner.

Mt. Olive proclamation of friendship

During the recent Spirit of Mother Jones Festival Mr James Goltz from Bunker Hill, Illinois presented the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Mary Shields with a proclamation from the community of Mount Olive, Illinois seeking “to extend a symbolic hand of friendship to our brothers and sisters in the birthplace of one so great in stature as the legendary Mother Jones”

The proclamation of friendship, supported by the Mount Olive Council and signed by Mr John M. Skertich, Mayor of Mt. Olive calls on both Mt. Olive and Cork together to ” celebrate her spirit while crediting her role in the history of both countries and in the globe. This common duty of stewardship stands as an unbreakable bond between our two cities.”

The Mt. Olive proclamation of friendship signed by Mayor John M. Skertich

The Mt. Olive proclamation of friendship signed by Mayor John M. Skertich

Mother Jones passed away at the Burgess home in Hyattsville, Maryland on 30th November 1930. Her funeral was held on December 8th at the Church of the Ascension, the Mount Olive Catholic Church. From there, her remains were taken and buried in the Union Miners Cemetery at Mount Olive near the graves of the victims of the 1898 Virden Massacre.

Mayor Skertich concludes the proclamation by inviting an agreement between Cork and Mount Olive to “promise to safeguard and promote both her resting place and birthplace, as we celebrate her life by jointly continuing to tell the life story of this great Irish woman to a wider audience.”

James Goltz with Lord Mayor Mary Shields

James Goltz with Cork’s Lord Mayor Councillor Mary Shields at Cork City Hall.

The Cork Mother Jones Committee is delighted to support the initiative taken by the city of Mount Olive. The Shandon Area Renewal Association has already agreed to promote, encourage and foster the links between the community of the birthplace of Mary Harris/Mother Jones and the community where she now lies at rest. A motion supporting the adoption of the Mount Olive proclamation will be presented to Cork City Council and it is the fervent wish of all involved that it be supported and formal fraternal links be established between the custodians of her native birthplace and her chosen resting place.

Some more pics from this year’s festival

Cork singers Club at Mother Jones Festival 2014 (1)

The Cork Singers Club at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival in Maldron Hotel 29th July 2014.

(Left to Right): Teresa Mac Carthaigh, Sean Mac Carthaigh, Tom Long, Monica Dineen, Bill Daly, Pat O Grady, Helen O Donovan, Cliff Wegbury,  Bridie Murphy, John Murphy. Helen O’Donovan was Bean a Tí for the spectacular evening  of songs and stories. Many of the festival guests such as Anne Feeney, Betty Cook and Anne Scargill also joined in.

Teresa McCarthaigh is the author of “The Ballad of Mother Jones” which she sang once again to huge acclaim.

US folk / union singer Anne Feeneywho performed at the Grand Concert at the Firkin Crane along with Si Kahn.  Here she is singing at an "open mike" session at the Maldron Hotel.

US folk / union singer Anne Feeneywho performed at the Grand Concert at the Firkin Crane along with Si Kahn. Here she is singing at an “open mike” session at the Maldron Hotel. Photo: Jimmy Thomson.

Anne Scargill and Betty Cook of Women Against Pit Closures who sang a wonderful song called simply "The Women's Song" about the struggle of women during the 1984 British Miner's Strike.   Photo: William Hammond.

Anne Scargill and Betty Cook of Women Against Pit Closures who sang a wonderful song called simply “The Women’s Song” about the struggle of women during the 1984 British Miner’s Strike. Photo: William Hammond.

Cork Mother Jones Lecture 2014

by Professor James Green

Prof. James Green at Shandon during the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2014.  Photo: Jimmy Thomson.

Prof. James Green at Shandon during the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2014. Photo: Jimmy Thomson.

Prof. James Green of the University of Massachusetts, Boston and author of  Death in the Haymarket and the West Virginia Mine Wars delivered the Cork Mother Jones Lecture 2014 at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival in Cork on the opening day of the festival, Tuesday 29th July.

You can view or download the full text of Prof. Green’s excellent lecture by clicking on the link below.

 

Mother Jones 2014 Lecture by James Green